Frequently Asked Questions
Are Velodonnas all young and fast?
The average age of a Velodonnas member is 44 and there is a vast range of fitness and experience levels in our membership*.
Most of our members identify as recreational cyclists. Some of us have competitive goals. All of us love to ride and want to support new members.
If you are ready to become a fitter, more technically able cyclist, then Velodonnas is here to support you.
*In 2019, we had 118 members with an age range of 11 - 69.
Riders under 13 must be accompanied by an adult member.
Group road rides are for 13+ only.
What happens if I can’t keep up?
All of our group rides are "No Drop" rides. This means the group speed is controlled such that everyone can "keep up".
However, there is an expectation that you have enough fitness to maintain a moderate cycling pace for 60+ minutes. What is a "moderate pace"? Our group road rides start at a controlled speed of 25kph. Speed may increase, or not, depending on the group each night.
If this sounds too fast for you, consider a group of cyclists is much faster than a solo rider. If your solo rides (on a road bike and a windless day) are ~20kph average speed, then you will easily pedal 25kph in a group.
Still not sure? Please contact us and we’ll figure it out together. Attending one of our skill clinics is a great way to meet us and assess your fitness/readiness for club activities.
Velodonnas was created to support female cyclists in our community. We invite all women, cisgender or transgender, and non-binary folks comfortable being included under the umbrella term women, to come ride with us.
**All riders must possess a basic level of cycling fitness and be able to ride for 60+ minutes at a social/moderate pace. Our group rides are “no-drop” and Due to lack of resources at this time, we do not offer para cycling programs. If you can help us start a para cycling program we’d love to hear from you!
I've never ridden in a group. Is it safe?
Riding in a group is a safer way to share the road because a group of riders is more visible than an individual.
However, riding closely in a group has inherent risks. Bikes and bodies moving swiftly in close quarters can result in wheels touching and riders falling. Couple that with the the vulnerabilities of riding a bicycle on roadways shared with motor vehicles and one can easily come to the conclusion that riding bikes is dangerous.
Why do we do it? Because Science, a group of riders can travel farther, in less time, than a solo rider. But more than this, group riding is fun and serious at the same time. It demands alertness while remaining relaxed, focus while remaining open and calmness in the face of chaos*. You see the appeal now?
We mitigate the risks by following the rules of the road (e.g. stopping at all stop signs etc.) and following a standard set group riding rules and universally recognized etiquette.
Don't be intimidated by the Guidelines. It's a detailed document you do not need to memorize before coming to your first ride! Our group road rides are designed to put these rules into practice. The more you practice, the easier it becomes. Read it over and come with your questions.